Genghis Khan (1950 film)
|Directed by||Manuel Conde|
Africa Dela Rosa
|Narrated by||Tony Cruz (Original Version)
James Agee (US version)
|Distributed by||MC Productions|
Shot with a shoe-string budget, Conde was forced to resort to creative means in staging the light, procuring the costumes and shooting the film. Despite the obstacles the film remained a classic for many years. Genghis Khan has also made it to the favorite list of many respected international critics for its innovative techniques and remarkable narrative elements using the cinematic medium.
“Genghis Khan” is considered a classic, The film was first screened at the 1952 Venice Film Festival and was cited for technical achievement. It was also received a good review from its screening at the 1952 Edinburgh Film Festival.
Genghis Khan” tells the story of Temujin (Manuel Conde), a young Mongol prince who takes part in a series of challenges against rival tribes for land rights. Under the auspices of Burchou (Lou Salvador) and his beautiful daughter, Lei Hai (Elvira Reyes), Temujin uses his wits to prevail against larger, stronger opponents to emerge victorious.
Unknown to any of the participants, Burchou’s advisor had arranged for his lord’s forces to massacre all the rival tribal leaders at that evening’s celebratory feast. Temujin barely escapes with his life, and makes his way home to find his village destroyed and his mother near death.
Instilled with a desire for revenge, the young prince begins spreading the word of Burchou’s treachery, competing at the Man of Men contest, falling in love with the enemy commander's daughter, and struggling to restore his demolished hometown, forging alliances and building a power base that will culminate with him ascending to the position of great conqueror.
- Manuel Conde as Genghis Khan
- Elvira Reyes as Li Hu
- Inday Jalandoni as Borte
- Jose Villafranca
- Lou Salvador as Jamukha
- Don Dano as Darmo Acosta
- Africa Dela Rosa
- Ric Bustamante
- Ely Nakpil
- Johnny Monteiro
- Andres Centenera
- Leon Lizares
Loss and rediscovery
The prints of the first ever Filipino movie to be shown at the Venice Film Festival in 1952 were lost—and found.
The restored “Genghis Khan,” in high definition and digital cinema package (DCP) format, had a grand premiere at the 69th Venice International Film Festival on Sept. 6, the same day that another Filipino film, Brillante Mendoza’s “Thy Womb,” screens as an entry in the main competition of the fest.
It’s a fitting homecoming for “Genghis Khan” in Venice where it competed for the Golden Lion and reportedly drew raves from audiences six decades ago. It was considered the “Holy Grail” of Filipino film archiving. Some Filipino archivists thought that the Manuel Conde 1950 historical epic film had been irretrievably lost “as there is no existing print in the country,” according to Briccio Santos, chair of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), the government agency tasked to oversee the movie industry. In a 2005 Inquirer story titled “Where in the world is ‘Genghis Khan,’” Filipino archivists said that prints of the movie were stashed away in various film vaults in Europe.
Early this year, the Venice International Film Festival, led by its director Alberto Barbera, thought of including “Genghis” in a new section called “80!”—a retrospective of past entries. Ten films are part of the retro and “Genghis” is the only Filipino film in the lineup. (The digitally restored “Himala,” directed by National Artist for Film Ishmael Bernal, is in a different section of the Venice fest: Venezia Classici.)
- "'Genghis Khan' lost, and found | Inquirer Entertainment". Entertainment.inquirer.net. 2012-09-02. Retrieved 2013-11-28.
- "'Genghis Khan' shown in PH, formally opens national film archives | Inquirer Entertainment". Entertainment.inquirer.net. 2012-09-30. Retrieved 2013-11-28.
- "Genghis Khan". Retrieved 2014-11-20.